Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Girl 27
Director: David Stenn
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Hollywood 1937 - Metro Goldwyn Mayer, the worlds most prestigious and powerful movie studio, tricks 120 underage chorus girls into attending a stag party for its visiting salesmen. When dancer Patricia Douglas tries to f... more »
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Reviewed on 12/16/2008...
Girl 27 is a documentary about a rape of a young woman, Patricia Douglas, involving a MGM exec and the Hollywood cover-up that occured more than 65 years ago. The documentary starts a little slow but after the first 20 minutes or so as the story begins to unfold, it becomes a story that will stick with you for a good long while. The story of Patricia Douglas is so tragic and it is heartbreaking to hear how her tragedy affected her throughout her entire life.
This is very much recommended.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
A MUST-See documentary for vintage Hollywood film fans!
Steven I. Ramm | Phila, PA USA | 10/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
It's now two days since I watched this fascinating documentary about the studio power of MGM in the 1930s and I'm still hearing the voice of Patricia Douglas, a minor "extra" who was raped by an MGM sales rep at an MGM-sponsored Convention in 1937. What? You never heard of Patricia Douglas or the case? Neither have most folks. But when journalist David Stenn was researching his bio of Jean Harlow the case popped up. He dug further and reported his findings in a long article in Vanity Fair magazine in 2003. Then he went further and edited his interview footage - of the reclusive Douglas, who he found still living at age 85, and legal experts - with some feature film clips into this compelling 80-minute film.
There was a whole file on the case in the USC Film Archives that hadn't been touched since the 1930s and provided lots of info for Stenn. The filmmaker narrates the film - and even interviews himself! - in a pleasant voice but the voice you won't forget is that of Douglas. It's gruff and worn and angry. After 65 years, she is seeing her story come to light. Sure, the studio (MGM) is now a different corporate entity, having been swallowed up by Ted Turner, but there probably is still a "casting couch" out there.
The impeccably researched and creatively edited film is a must for anyone interested in the Hollywood films of the 1930s or 40s. The bonus features include the 10-minute Paramount short "Hollywood Extra Girl", which is - sadly - cropped too close so that the top and bottom of picture are cut off as well as a Director's Commentary by Stenn. The commentary really adds to the understanding of the case and Stenn's voice is engaging, making it almost essential to listen to.
I dove into this DVD with no prior knowledge of it's subject, except for the blurb on the DVD case. I did not leave my TV set from the opening title. And I'm still hearing Douglas's voice telling her story!
Rape victim "Girl 27" finally gets her say
Lisa Burks | Burbank, CA United States | 10/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1937, Patricia Douglas, a straight-laced, 17-year-old studio dancer was sent by a casting agent to what she thought was a film call. She ended up at a MGM Studios sales convention "stag" party where she was manhandled and eventually raped and beaten by an out-of-town salesman.
When she tried to seek justice, she got screwed again - this time by everyone from top MGM brass, the district attorney, the press, and key witnesses to her doctor, lawyer and own mother. The emotional ripple effect of that crime has been felt by three generations to-date.
Flash forward 65 years to Hollywood historian, author and filmmaker David Stenn's discovery of Douglas' story in old newspapers while researching a Jean Harlow biography and pursuing the truth, much to the chagrin of Douglas who gave up hoping for justice long ago.
GIRL 27 is not only a documentary about a powerful studio scandal and cover-up, it's also the story of how an 85-year-old woman overcomes decades of pain, fear and disappointment to learn to trust someone again when they say "I want to help you find justice, vindication, peace." As such, I liked that the film shows the development of Stenn and Douglas' friendship and the emotional bond they formed.
The most compelling part of the film is Douglas' on-camera recollections, speaking about the rape for the first time ever. (She was never interviewed for any of the exploitative newspaper articles of the day.) This is a woman who needed to feel, and did ultimately feel, heard and understood.
There's lot to love about this film besides the courage and heroic beauty of Patricia Douglas. Vintage film clips showing how violence against women was treated by Hollywood at the time, interviews with family members of key players in the story and insights provided by experts such as actress Diana Carey (herself a victim of studio system sexual harassment), author Judy Lewis (the daughter of Clark Gable and Loretta Young, and victim of a Hollywood scandal cover-up), attorney Michael Taitelman and legal analyst Greta Van Susteren.
I'd highly recommend viewing the DVD while listening to Stenn's audio commentary track. He provides lots of relevant insights and additional facts pertaining to the case and Hollywood history, as well as background tid-bits on the making of the documentary. I thought it was one of the more compelling commentary tracks I've heard in years."
An Incredible Film
C. Cloutier | Monterey, Ca | 10/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an incredible film, a powerful film, a love letter to someone who was deeply and tragically wronged. This is a film that shows how sadness, dispair and actions can be carried down through the generations. It is also a film that shows that the system may try to destroy you but if you believe in yourself, the truth will come out somehow.
This is a film that is moving in every way a film can be. David Stenn, the filmmaker has done alot of good with his film. He has helped to change lives, bring closure, and allowed Patricia Douglas to feel that she is not alone in her struggles and regrets.
An absolute must see. You won't regret it."